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Previewing the 2011 Fantasy Football Playoffs (AUDIO)

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Jared Gidan

Staff Writer

It’s official, some of your fantasy hopes and dreams may have come crashing down with the conclusion of most leagues seasons last week.  But for those lucky few, who made the right calls, made the right moves, and just quite frankly dominated, the playoffs are the next stepping stone to fantasy football immortalization.  Some of you may be playing for money and others for bragging rights.

Those of us, who have never been to the playoffs before, myself included, have now reached a new pinnacle in our fantasy careers.  We have been thrusted into that realm of the game that so few have ever had the chance to see.  We’ve got a shot at the title.

We have a chance to immortalize our name in the history books forever.  All it takes is three wins, starting with the team I’ll be playing for the next two weeks.  The future looks to be one filled with footballs falling from the sky like candy into a basket.

But those of us who know the game know this.  Every play can be a player’s last.  It’s time to get serious, focused and locked in, because one misstep can be the difference between a year of sadness, or a year of perfect euphoria.

Here are some of the key positions fantasy owners should look at heading into the playoffs.  Let’s take a look at some of the matchups, red-hot players and what can give you an edge going into the final chapters of a journey born during week one.


Don’t overlook this small detail.  Defense win’s championships.  The top 5 defenses based on their schedules are:

  1. 49ers
  2. Steelers
  3. Seahawks
  4. Ravens
  5. Eagles

The bottom 5 defenses:

  1. Panthers
  2. Redskins
  3. Bills
  4. Chargers
  5. Cowboys


If you’ve made it this far you probably don’t need any help at the quarterback position.  Here are the quarterbacks with the easiest schedules for the next three weeks:

  1. Rex Grossman
  2. Matthew Stafford
  3. Matt Moore
  4. Matt Ryan
  5. Ryan Fitzpatrick

I hate to say it, but three out of the five quarterbacks will face the Patriots and that shouldn’t be that shocking.  For the past five weeks, the Patriots have allowed the most fantasy points to an opposing quarterback above their normal average.

Hardest remaining schedule

  1. Aaron Rodgers
  2. Dan Orlovsky
  3. Colt McCoy
  4. Andy Dalton
  5. Christian Ponder

Running Backs

Perhaps the most key position in a fantasy owners line up.  Here are the running backs with the best schedules going into the last three weeks:

  1. Ray Rice
  2. Demarco Murray
  3. Arian Foster
  4. Michael Turner
  5. Reggie Bush

If you’ve been a Ray Rice owner this past season you wouldn’t expect anything less.  I’m happy to see Reggie Bush up there.

The running backs with the toughest schedules in the last three weeks:

  1. Steven Jackson
  2. Marshawn Lynch
  3. Cedric Benson
  4. LeSean McCoy
  5. Jonathan Stewart

Those of you have been enjoying Lynch, don’t be sold on how well he’s been doing he can just as easily fall off in these final weeks.

Wide Receivers

Easiest Schedule

  1. Santana Moss
  2. Calvin Johnson
  3. Chicago Bears (as a team)
  4. Dez Bryant, Miles Austin
  5. Steve Johnson

Hardest Schedule

  1. Hakeem Nicks, Victor Cruz, Mario Manningham
  2. Greg Little
  3. Jeremy Maclin and DeSean Jackson
  4. Pierre Garcon and Reggie Wayne
  5. Larry Fitzgerald

Key Injuries from  Week 14

DeMarco Murray– Broken ankle in the first quarter against the Giants, and is out for the season.  Felix Jones came in for him and rushed for 137 yards.  Should be picked up in most leagues.

Greg Jennings– Suffered what seems to be a serious knee injury against the Raiders and will probably be out for the rest of the playoffs.

Ahmad Bradshaw– Still didn’t look healthy in Sunday’s win.  Brandon Jacobs had most of the carries.

Jimmy Graham– Back pain.  Significantly affected his play after having a stellar fantasy season.  Had five catches for 55 yards.

Statistics and Rankings accredited to ESPN.com

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